DILG: Not one LGU met flood management, response criteria

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014


NONE of the 88 flood-prone local government units (LGUs) in Central Visayas passed the disaster-preparedness standards set by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

These LGUs include the highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, Cebu.

Virgie Clapano, chief of the DILG local government capacity development division, said 24 LGUs in Cebu, 33 in Bohol, 26 in Negros Oriental and five in Siquijor are not completely prepared to address issues related to flooding.

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Citing a Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) 7 study, Clapano said 88 out of 136 towns and cities in Central Visayas are flood-prone.

The MGB reported that 1,127 out of a total of 1,634 towns and cities in the country are flood-prone.

Assessment

Clapano said the DILG is assessing how prepared LGUs are in responding to calamities, like typhoons, floods and storm surge, in line with the implementation of the Seal of Disaster Preparedness (SDP) program.

To earn an SDP, an LGU must have a disaster-preparedness and risk reduction and management program.

According to the DILG website, there are two levels of assessment under the SDP. The first level assesses the disaster-preparedness of an LGU prior to a flood. The second looks into the response of the LGU when a flood occurs.

The first level looks into the leadership structure in the LGU, which includes the creation of a local disaster risk reduction and management body; guide to action, which includes institutionalized planning and budgeting; disaster-preparedness, including contingency planning, early warning system and evacuation.

Second round

LGUs that pass the first level will go into the second round of assessment, which considers search and rescue programs and personnel, and evacuation center management, including counseling programs and power, food and water supply.

LGUs who get an SDP will receive financial incentives that can help them improve their disaster risk reduction and management programs.

Clapano said that among the flood-prone areas in Central Visayas, only 51 LGUs have emergency response teams; only eight institutionalized disaster risk and reduction management plans and corresponding budget; only 23 have flood evacuation plans; and only about 15 have partnerships with public and private sector groups that can respond during floods.

Clapano presented the data during the second and last day of the disaster-preparedness workshop organized by the DILG, Department of Science and Technology and the Office of the Civil Defense.

DILG 7 Director Ananias Villacorta said the department will also conduct trainings on the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG), previously known as Seal of Good Housekeeping, for the Visayas and Mindanao.

He said the trainings will be held on April 14 to 16 in Cebu.

The SGLG will not only recognize an LGU’s efforts to ensure transparency and accountability, but also its capability in responding to disasters, investment climate, peace and order, and environmental management.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 02, 2014.

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